After receiving the Sustainable Tourism Award 2018 in the Nottingham STARS Hospitality Awards, we decided it was time to turn our efforts to a pressing issue in our pubs, our society and across the world.
We all waste food and we all have excuses for it…a little bit here and there won’t make much difference, there isn’t enough left over to make leftovers, my eyes are bigger than my stomach, I forgot we had it. But, as we also know, small mistakes add up.
A third of the world’s food is wasted and generates 3.3billion tonnes of greenhouse gases.
The staggering numbers go on. Our global food system is responsible for approximately 60% of terrestrial biodiversity loss, 24% of greenhouse gas emissions and 33% of degraded soils. Food waste uses up 1.4billion hectares of land. A third of the world’s fish stocks were over-fished in 2015, but in Scotland alone we wasted 10million fish the following year.
Swill-feeding (feeding livestock our food waste) was banned in 2001 following the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, in the same year that Japan introduced the opposite policy. Now, counties including Japan and South Korea recycle around 40% of their food waste as animal feed. Subsequently, UK campaigning calls on a lift on the ban, with the implementation of a safe and regulated new system.
Our livestock production model is the least efficient process in our food system, with losses of 78%. While 36% of the world’s crops and 40% of the world’s grain harvest are fed to livestock, livestock (meat and dairy) only delivers about 12% of the world’s food calories.
Above all, reducing food waste is the third most effective way to tackle climate change. Seeing as we only have 12 years to limit the climate change catastrophe, there’s really no time for dilly dallying.
There are small changes we can all make, as individuals and as businesses, to change our personal, local and global food waste systems.
WHAT WE’RE DOING
- Tracking food waste in our pubs, auditing our systems and monitoring what (and how much) is coming back to our kitchens on a regular basis.
- Changing systems in our kitchens to minimise the waste created during the food prep stage, like potato peelings.
- Improving the menu-planning stage of our food service, including our ordering procedures.
- Changing our portion sizes in response to what the average customer is consuming.
- Omitting unnecessary extras that are regularly untouched, like a salad garnish.
- Introducing more lighter dishes, and are looking at ways to give you more freedom to personalise your meals.
- Continuing to donate our spent grains from our brewery to a local farmer, for livestock feed.
- As much as possible, we’re buying our produce from local farmers and wholesalers, in order to minimise the number of steps from ground to plate.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Think of the larger picture and try to buy local produce. Each food item uses the world’s natural resources throughout its life, from growing, processing, packaging, transporting and storing. That’s before it’s even made it into our own home. The further along the chain the food loss occurs, the more carbon intensive the wastage is.
- Try Olio, an app for food-sharing, which connects those with surplus food to those who need/want food! Free leftovers from the local bakery? Yes please! We listed our leftover Christmas party food on Olio, and later that day it was collected by a local bloke to distribute among the homeless.
- Buy wonky. Ever spy those rejected broken carrots in the bottom of the box? They may not look as pretty, but they can taste just as good. Buying wonky veg – the rejects of the veg realm if you will – is a really easy way to stop good food going to waste.
- Think of the money! If the waste alone doesn’t set you into action, just think of any food waste as money in the bin. Every little adds up. Plus, it’s estimated that half of the food we chuck is actually edible.
- Get creative in the kitchen. Turn leftover porridge into pancakes or sour milk into soda bread. Everything from limp lettuce to beetroot tops can be used. Google some recipes and get going.
- Visit lovefoodhatewaste.com for loads of handy tips. Simple changes like getting the correct fridge setting or using a portion calculator can have impressive results for your pockets and the planet.
If you have any ideas or feedback you’d like to give us regarding food waste, get in touch on social media or use the contact form here.